Following on from our post last issue The Swiss art of sustainable innovation – Part One // Ceramics [click here] we take a look at how service also requires innovation and is in the lifeblood of Laufen.
Sustainability: A Swiss virtue
As a Swiss company which manufactures products for use with the valuable resource water, Laufen feels committed to protecting this natural basis of life – because climate change, the holes in the ozone layer, water pollution and other man-made environmental problems affect us all.
Together with economical toilets which fulfil the strictest of international standards, the company is therefore also leading in the development of water and energy-saving faucets. With Ecototal and Ecototal+ the bathroom specialist has developed intelligent saving solutions which can reduce water and energy consumption by up to 30 percent; with EcoChoice Laufen offers a practical flow limiter which allows the water flow rate to be adjusted to meet personal requirements.
In order to give architects, planners and consumers a tool which permits comparisons, which is valid throughout Europe, and which can be used to assess the water consumption of a product at a glance, Laufen has had a wide range of products certified with the European Water Label – from washbasins through to shower faucets and toilets. In the process, the products from Laufen were rated as being above averagely good to very good.
But Laufen also considers design in terms of sustainability, because only timeless and durable products which give the user a lot of joy for a long time deserve to be called ‘environmentally-acceptable’ – avoidance being more important than recycling.
A further important commitment of the company is a form of social sustainability, which Laufen sees as the responsibility towards the staff. The company is the only sanitary manufacturer that produces exclusively in Central Europe, investing continuously in employees and new technologies in all eight production facilities.
Laufen realises the made-to-measure individual bathroom
The individual planning and design of bathrooms is a growing sector in the sanitary market. Especially architects and planners of public and semi-public buildings often require individual solutions which can be fitted precisely into the floor plans of sanitary rooms and bathrooms, or fulfil the particular requirements of the building client. The Swiss bathroom specialist Laufen reacts to these requirements by presenting numerous solutions from the range, realising the made-to-measure bathroom: the solutions include made-to-measure, cuttable washbasins, ceramic shelves, mirrors and bathroom furniture, and washbasins with a shelf that can be given a decorative pattern or coloured surface, as well as numerous furniture colours which can be matt lacquered if required. Even the faucets can be individualised, with special levers, logos, colours and surface finishes created as required.
Since 2015 Laufen has also been working with the new mineral material Sentec, allowing individual customer wishes, in small batches, to be produced with very short lead times. From washbasins, countertops, accessories, furniture, shower trays, bathtubs, sinks, right up to wall cladding, there are almost no limits to the imagination. In this way architects and designers can implement their designs, so as to harmonise perfectly with the room and its fittings. With this in mind, Laufen provides a full service package which includes feasibility studies, assistance with technical drawings, production of models and prototypes, the adjustment of fittings, direct dispatch and after-sales service.
Future-oriented in architecture
Laufen reacts to the requirements of architects and planners with the assistance of Building Information Modeling (BIM). The company is conscious of the important role that BIM will play in future business processes, both locally and globally. Today many project participants are already investing a part of their resources into this platform, which is characterised by the following key aspects: The system is based on a virtual model, uses parametric objects, provides information for all project participants, and develops further during the entire lifecycle of the building.
Taking the fitter into account
Together with the architects, planners and users, Laufen also always takes the fitter into account when developing innovations, since it is important that he gets practical and easy-to-install products. One successful invention by Laufen that fitters appreciate is EasyFit, a new fitting system which makes the installation of wall-mounted toilets far easier. The Laufen Installation System LIS is also new, a well thought-out solution which allows wall-mounted toilets from LAUFEN to be installed securely, quickly and simply. The range includes different in-wall elements for dry wall and wet construction situations. They can be used in order to realise widely varying installation options in the bathroom or guest toilet.